Fiocruz News Agency

The Inova Fiocruz Program approved 20 of the 35 projects submitted to the Amazon Innovation Notice to receive funding for research with a focus on the Amazon. The public notice provides for a total of R$ 7.1 million for the financing of research, technological development and innovation projects, aimed at the Amazon region, coordinated by researchers from Fiocruz units in Amazonas and Rondônia. The public notice was launched as a tool to encourage research in science, technology and innovation, with a focus on public health in the Amazon, through a partnership with the Amazonas Research Support Foundations (Fapeam) and Rondônia (Fapero).

The meeting allowed the exchange of information about the objectives of each work and was opened by the assistant coordinator of the Inova Fiocruz Program, Claude Pirmez, with a greeting to the researchers awarded by the director of Fiocruz Amazônia, Adele Schwartz Benzaken, the director of Fiocruz Rondônia , Jansen Fernandes de Medeiros, and the coordinator of Regional and National Integration Strategies at Fiocruz, Zélia Prophet. Of the total of 20 projects, 10 are from Fiocruz Amazônia and 10 from Fiocruz Rondônia.

For the coordinator of the Inova Fiocruz Program, Milton Ozório Moraes, the Amazon Innovation Notice makes it possible to induce scientific and technological development aimed at public health solutions for the Brazilian population with a view to the priority problems of the Amazon. “Public health studies on vulnerable populations, on alternatives for treating snakebites, innovative genomic surveillance strategies to anticipate new epidemics, new treatments for endemic diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, evaluation of new approaches to entomological control. These are not problems unique to the Amazon, but given their local relevance, they can be better understood and certainly scaled up for use in other regions in Brazil, as well as in neighboring countries,” says Moraes, referring to the variety of topics in the approved projects. “Certainly, the initiative will be able to leverage research focused on Innovations in health for the Amazon”, he added.

The project evaluation process involved the participation of Fiocruz and external evaluators, in addition to a technical committee composed of Andreimar Soares (Fapero), Claude Pirmez (Fiocruz), Márcia de Oliveira Teixeira (Fiocruz) and Milton Ozorio Moraes (Fiocruz) . The result is available on the Fiocruz Portal. The director of Instituto Leônidas & Maria Diane (ILMD/Fiocruz Amazônia), Adele Benzaken, highlighted the importance of the Public Notice for the Amazon.

“We are more than 30 million Brazilians living under the cloak of underdevelopment. Therefore, the consolidation of initiatives such as the Amazônia Innovation by Fiocruz breaks a little with this logic. We are facing a challenge that requires the engagement of all researchers working here, especially those from ILMD/Fiocruz Amazônia and Fiocruz Rondônia, without whom we would not be able to implement S&T to build a more just and humane society. This is yet another pact for the Amazon, reaffirming the strategic role that the two Fiocruz units have in this region,” he said.

The director of Fiocruz Rondônia, Jansen Fernandes de Medeiros, said he was happy to receive the result of the public notice, as it was a pioneering initiative in this format. “We will bear much fruit with the proposals that were approved, in the same way that we also look forward to regularity, permanence of opportunities that can contemplate our demands, which are many. Despite our young age, only 13 years old, Fiocruz Rondônia has made relevant contributions to the development of science and the Amazon, and for us to remain firm with our mission, it is essential that we have initiatives like this one”, stated Medeiros.

Important topics for the development of the ST&I system in the Health area were approved by Fiocruz Rondônia, as Surveillance of zoonotic agents in wild and domestic animals and arthropod vectors; Development of a broad-spectrum molecular assay to screen for neglected arboviruses; Oropouche virus genomic surveillance to investigate the occurrence of Oropouche fever; Clinical-molecular analysis of advanced liver disease and development of an assay to identify cellular hepatocarcinoma biomarkers; Efficacy of red and infrared low-intensity laser for reducing local manifestations in snakebite envenomations; Implementation of an automated protocol for the development of new drugs; Integrate and predict unfavorable outcomes in tuberculosis; and Development of electrochemical sensors based on camelid nanobodies aimed at the differential diagnosis of snake envenomation.

Fiocruz Amazônia approved the following studies: Analysis of the microbiota of anophelines and sandflies susceptible and refractory to infection by Plasmodium and Leishmania; Ecobiodiversity of trypanosomatid transmission cycles in different Amazonian landscapes, with emphasis on risks to human health; Metagenomic surveillance for the detection of emerging zoonotic viruses: anticipating possible viral spillover events in the Amazon; Community participation in the process of planning, organizing and offering health services in rural riverside locations in the Amazon; Study on the supply of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods in the immediate postpartum period for adolescents in the Amazon; Proposal for epidemiological and space-time monitoring of femicides: potentialities of health information surveillance for gender equity; Development of single-chain antibody fragments (scFv) applicable to the diagnosis of malaria; From municipal primary care to specialized and regional emergency care: access to health in Solimões- Amazonas; Self-perception of aging as a cause of abandonment of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Amazonas; and isLarvicide dissemination stations in the control of Aedes: intervention proposal in the city of Manaus.

The projects have themes related to the biodiversity of the Amazon, surveillance, control and treatment of tropical and/or neglected or emerging diseases in the region, themes related to equity and the well-being of vulnerable populations residing in the Amazon and Pan-Amazon (countries that have the Amazon Forest in their territory), in addition to proposals aimed at regional development and that address solutions that encourage the integration of health services and health surveillance practices in the Northern Arc of the border, considering the social, epidemiological, economic, cultural and administrative area of ​​the border strip. In addition to projects that promote the appreciation of the knowledge of traditional peoples and the local cultural heritage, aiming at the innovation and humanization of health care in the Amazon.